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Girl Pain

Olivia Backal-Balik


Categories: Music, Visual Art, Storytelling

Dates: September 19, 2023 - September 21, 2023

Run Time: 40 mins

Venue: MAAS Building Studio


Join Olivia Backal-Balik and their friends as they preview Olivia’s unreleased first album Girl Pain through two intimate performances, featuring Sasha Avanov on guitar and drums, Clara Babbott-Ward on bassoon, guitar and vocals, Olivia Backal-Balik on keys and vocals, Lainey Bein on bass and vocals, Rodrick Boyd Edwards on vocals, Aathira Chennat on vocals, Hongdou Ge on keys, Gabe Miller on violin and vocals, Alice Hospitel on visuals, Zach Tridico on woodwinds and additional artists to come 🙂
Girl Pain charts emotional worlds in Olivia’s early life, navigating themes of major loss, disillusionment in love and celebrating unapologetic queer joy and liberatory community building.The album is the culmination of years of music Olivia was too afraid to share with anyone until close friends at the time, and now collaborators, encouraged and supported them in developing their work. This is to say, the work has always been communal and would not be possible without late nights of harmonizing around dinner tables, and afternoons writing parts together. So, as Girl Pain was created in a community, it will be performed by one. In honor of the fact that Olivia’s story was not conceived by an ‘I’ but by a ‘we,’ both nights will feature original works written and led by a number of the artists in the band.
Olivia’s undying love for vocalists plays a major part in their musical inspiration for this project. They hope to pay homage to artists such as Mingjia, Joan Shelley, Rita Payés, Ibeyi, Jamila Woods, Sílvia Pérez Cruz, Amy Winehouse and is it obvious they could keep going? They have drawn vocal harmonic inspiration from troupes such as Simon and Garfunkel, Mountain Man and Los Tristes. Olivia was trained as a Western classical pianist, so they would be remiss if they did not mention the influence romantic composers such as Florence Price and Johannes Brahms has had on their approach.

Cannonball, produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, is the first and largest independent festival hub of the Philadelphia Fringe that presents risk-taking independent artists in back-to-back performances next to delicious lounge spaces, fostering creative collisions and community conversation.

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About the Artist

Olivia is a Philadelphia-born artist whose greatest joy is creating art in collaboration with loved ones. They are a longtime gardener, writer, musician and linguist who is interested in illuminating the artistry within all creation in our lives, whether it be the art of tending to land or the dance within the poetry of conversation. They are deeply concerned with building liberatory community through art and aspire to embody the essence of Julius Eastman's words from his 1981 artist bio: "No other thing is as important or as useful. Right thought, Right Speech, Right action, Right music." 




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